European Journal of Pediatrics vol:174 issue:4 pages:429-433
During the last decade, much concern has been expressed about online pro-eating disorder communities (e.g., pro-anorexia websites and blogs) which encourage their users to engage in disordered eating behavior. The aim of the current paper is to reemphasize the importance of pro-eating disorder communities in light of the recent changes in the media landscape. With the increase of social networking sites, pro-anorexia messages have transplanted to more volatile and constantly changing media, such as Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and many others. Most parents, educators, and health professionals are unaware of the sheer scope and nature of such pro-anorexia messages in these new contexts. The current paper will provide a review of pro-eating disorder websites, overview the effects of such websites on young people’s health, examine the emergence of these messages on social media platforms, and highlight a number of guidelines for clinicians and parents.